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endure no longer, the little light that remained | ful in all his house, as a servant.'-'Christ as a was soon extinguished, the crescent of an impos- Son over his own house, whose house are we.'— . tor was hoisted where the cross once floated in tri- 'That thou mayest know how thou oughtest to umph, and the desolations of many generations behave thyself in the house of God, which is now proclaim the consequence of abused and ne- the church of the living God.' It is not without glected privileges. good reason the appellation is so common. intended to express the character of the church, whose members are under one head, bound in love to a common father, loving one another as the children of one family, and having a common dwelling-place, both in this world and the next. Even death does not break the union that binds them together. Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,' is the description of inspiration. For although the church militant is yet far removed from the church triumphant, still have they a tender sympathy in one another. Daily are they becoming more assimilated, and soon shall the whole number be complete, and safe in heaven. Alas! that this unity should have so little distinguished the church in its history hitherto. It has rather been as a house divided against itself. Hence has it not stood as it might against the assaults of the wicked one, and its dissensions have been no small hindrance to its progress. May the prayer of Christ speedily be answered: 'that they all may be one, as thou Father art in me and I in thee; that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.'

What a lesson is here to every Christian congregation! We are blessed with our sabbaths, our sanctuaries, and our sermons. But how are these improved. Is the sabbath our delight, holy unto the Lord, and honourable ? Is the sanctuary our refuge, of which we devoutly say, How amiable are thy tabernacles? Are our sermons accompanied with the demonstration of the Spirit, and of power? Are men convinced of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment? If so, well. If not, God may soon be provoked to deprive us of our means of grace. Our teachers may be removed from our eyes, our sanctuaries closed, or a mere dead service performed there, and our sabbaths overrun with desecrations, till they can scarcely be distinguished from any other day. Alas! alas! How far is this the case already. Let us consider our ways. The revival of religion in the land must begin with the churches. Let us inquire what can be done to stay impending judgments.


"Over this house of God we have an High Priest.' This is Jesus, the Son of God, who in the character of an high priest has taken the care and oversight of the church. And how faithfully does he sustain the offices of that high and holy

There is a solemn lesson here to every individual. Our opportunities are still many. have the word of God in our hands, and his ear is open unto our cry. Opportunities of doing and receiving good are presented on every hand. Much is given to us, and much shall be required. Ah! what fruit are we bringing forth? Is the good seed that is sown amongst us bringing forth, some thirty, some sixty, some an hundred-relation. fold? Surely this may reasonably be expected by the Lord of the vineyard. He cometh seeking fruit, even repentance, and faith, and holiness. If he find it not he will pour forth his judgments. Our blessings may be withdrawn from us, or we may be removed from them. Let us kiss the Son lest he be angry, and we perish from the way when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.' When the Lord cometh may he find us watching!


'Having an high priest over the house of God, let
us draw near with a true heart, in full assur-
ance of faith,' Heb. x. 21, 22.
'THE house of God' is a common appellation for
the church, in the scriptures. Moses was faith-

The apostle Paul elsewhere says of him, 'we have a great High Priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God.-We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.' Greatness and mercy are the features of his character. So great, that nothing is beyond his power. So merciful, that there is no creature beneath his notice. O! what it is to possess the sympathy of such a Being. He condescends to discharge towards his church all the duties of the office he sustains. Is it the duty of a priest to offer sacrifice? He offered up himself, he gave his soul an offering for sin, himself the priest, the altar, and the sacrifice. Does it belong to the priest to offer intercession? It is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.' 'He is able to save them to the uttermost, that come unto God by him, seeing he

ever liveth to make intercession for them.' Did every approach and say, 'Let us come boldly unto the high priest bless the people? As he ascended the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, he lifted up his hands and blessed his followers, and find grace to help in time of need.' What a in that attitude he remains, and he was seen by ground, what a warrant, what an encouragement the prophet in glory, pleading his sacrifice, and to faith! A throne of grace! Come boldly! dispensing gifts to men. He is 'an High Priest Obtain mercy! Find grace! Surely it is not unfor ever, after the order of Melchizedeck.'-'The reasonable to exercise the assurance of faith. same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.'

'Let us then draw near.' O yes, we may now draw near to God. We may enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us through the vail, that is to say, his flesh.' Appearing in his name, we shall be accepted for his sake. 'Christ being come an High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building, neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.' We may draw near for Christ is there, heaven is sprinkled with his blood, it is perfumed with the incense of his intercession, he will appear our friend, our elder brother, and we need not fear to come even to the throne. O! how we live beneath our privileges, standing afar off when we should draw nigh.

'In ev'ry pang that rends the heart,
The Man of sorrows had a part;
He sympathizes with our grief,
And to the sufferer sends relief.
With boldness, therefore, at the throne,
Let us make all our sorrows known;
And ask the aids of heav'nly pow'r
To help us in the evil hour.'


'That men ought always to pray, and not to faint, Luke xviii. 1.

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THERE is great danger of men fainting in prayer, and therefore are the exhortations of Christ on this subject most seasonable and sustaining. How much instruction is conveyed in these few words, Men ought to pray!' Prayer is natural-a duty, a privilege. It arises out of the relation But let us beware that we draw near 'with a in which we stand to God as his dependent true heart. No insincerity must be allowed in creatures, but especially is its obligation inthat approach. 'God is a Spirit, and they that creased, and its benefit required by our sinful worship him must worship him in spirit and condition. Men ought always to pray.' In all in truth.' We have to do with him who situations and at all times is it needful and bindsearcheth the hearts, and trieth the reins of the ing. The habit of prayer should be diligently children of men. And it becometh us to say and cultivated, that, as the apostle enjoins, we may feel like David, 'if I regard iniquity in my heart'pray without ceasing.' Every event and every the Lord will not hear me.' What we ask we circumstance should remind us of God, bring us must honestly desire to obtain; what we vow to him, and lead us to seek his direction, or we must be careful to pay; what we profess we praise his goodness. And we should be on our must take care that we feel. Let us not draw guard against neglecting prayer, knowing, as we near with the mouth, and honour him with the are here warned, that there is great danger of lip, while the heart is far from him. Let us re- fainting. member all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. For when the apostle saw the High Priest in his heavenly glory 'his eyes were as a flame of fire, and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace, and his voice as the sound of many waters.'

Still, if we draw near with a true heart, we may also come 'in full assurance of faith.' On his word we may confidently rely, his promises we may assuredly believe, his merits we may boldly plead, and in his name we may fearlessly confide. Whatsoever we ask, believing, we shall receive. The more we trust in him the more we honour him. We may encourage our souls in

Hence the

This danger partly arises out of the nature of prayer. It is a simple, spiritual exercise-the communion of the soul with God. But this is an exercise very distasteful to men. constant inclination to turn it into a mere ceremony. To say prayers is easy, to perform penances is easy, to endure pilgrimages is easy; but to pray is not easy, it requires a change of heart, the help of the Holy Spirit, constant watchfulness over the heart, and an abiding sense of eternal things upon the mind.

Besides, God is pleased often to delay apparent answers to prayer. Even where it is most sincere this may be the case. Let us remember how Christ treated the woman of Canaan when

she came to him to supplicate for the deliver- |
ance of her daughter, who was grievously vexed
with a devil. At first he seemed entirely indif-
ferent to her entreaty, for 'he answered her not
a word.' Even when his disciples took up her
cause and became intercessors for her, being an-
noyed by her importunity, he alleged she had no
claim on his mission, as he had been sent only
to the lost sheep of the house of Israel' Not
yet discouraged, she drew still nearer, and wor-
shipping him, said, 'Lord, help me.' But he
seemed immovable, and replied, 'It is not meet
to take the children's bread and cast it to the
dogs.' She had her answer, 'Truth, Lord, yet
the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their
master's table.' Not till then did he grant her
request. He delayed he raised up apparent
difficulties, and it would seem as if her request
could not be granted. Was this unkindness in
our Lord? None will say so. The issue justi-
fies the delay. And this case is recorded for our
instruction. God may delay to answer our
prayers, but we should not therefore faint.
There is a time to withhold, and a time to be-
stow. God knows what is best for us. Let us
wait his pleasure, and not faint.

Or it may please God to answer our prayers in such a way as we do not expect, or which at the time we may not understand. We have an instructive example of this case in the history of the apostle Paul. A thorn in the flesh was given him, a messenger from satan to buffet him.' Although we cannot tell what this was, yet we know it was some strong temptation. He betook himself to prayer as his only refuge. 'For this thing,' says he, I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.' Here also was delay, for he prayed once and again, apparently without an answer, and was obliged to urge his suit upon the Lord thrice. Nor was this all. For although an answer came, it was very different from what he desired and expected. The temptation was not withdrawn as he prayed it might be. The answer was, 'My grace is sufficient for thee. The temptation was continued, but he obtained strength to bear it. And this he understood to be the answer, for he added, 'Most gladly therefore will I glory in mine infirmity, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.' Who does not justify the divine procedure, not only in the delay, but in the nature of the answer. Let us not limit the Holy One of Israel. He understands our case better than we do ourselves. And let us gratefully receive such answer as he may be pleased to give, and not faint.

Great good may arise to the suppliant both by the delay and by the answer being different from what he expected. It is well fitted to throw us back upon exercises of self-examination. Have our prayers been such as we should offer, or as God should answer? Is there anything in our life that proves a hindrance to our supplication, and which must be removed before a righteous God can answer it? Are there means which we have neglected to employ, and in the neglect of which it is presumption to expect that our prayers shall be heard? How good it were to engage in such reflections as these! In the happy results of them we might eventually find the answers to our prayer.

At the same time, such a delay is calculated and, no doubt, intended to exercise our faith. We must learn to trust God when we do not see the reasons of his conduct. How nobly is this grace manifested in Abraham! He had received the promise of a son, but how unlikely that it should ever be fulfilled, how long the trying delay, years after years passing by, and to all human apprehension the long-promised and much-cherished object growing more unlikely than before. But his faith in God sustained him. He had his hours of trial and seasons of darkness, and there were times when he was tempted to seek the fulfilment of the promise by unlawful means. But on the whole he clung to the hope set before him through all this dark night of disappointment, and his example is thus quoted by the apostle Paul, 'He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully persuaded that what he had promised, he was able also to perform.' Our business is to learn what God has promised, and in persevering prayer and labour to wait the time of his performance.

By this means the grace of patience will be much exercised and strengthened. We must not be in haste when God is not. We must submit ourselves and our ways to his government. It may be well to have our fond schemes crossed by his providence. We must learn to bear his will no less than to do his will. It is a wholesome lesson when we are taught that 'our strength is to sit still. And it is a high attainment when we can say with all our hearts, Thy will be done.'

Let us pray thus, and in due season we shall be answered. Only let us be sure that what we ask is agreeable to the will of God, and sooner or later our request shall be granted. Let us remember the parable of the importunate widow,

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THERE is no Saviour but Christ. The language of the scriptures is very strong and decided. Neither is there salvation in any other '— not in angels, nor in men, and they cannot confer what they do not possess; those things essential to salvation are not within the compass of their feeble powers and limited capacities. There is no other name,' no other being or character so constituted as to be capable of undertaking or executing the salvation of sinners. Not under heaven' and this is a large compass. Not among men'-be their attainments what they may, knowledge, or influence, or goodness, or whatever else they may possess. It is manifest the language of scripture is thus precise and pointed, for the purpose of forcing men out of the many refuges of lies to which they are apt to betake themselves, and of shutting them up to the one only method of salvation which God has provided.

vour of the self-righteousness of man, but the forms which they assume are almost as many as the persons who indulge them. But they are alike vain. Of them all may it be said, "the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it, and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.' 'The hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.'

Blessed be God, however, if there be only one Saviour, he is all-sufficient. If there be no other name that can prevail, it is all-prevalent. And what is his name? The Lord Jesus Christ. O! who can fathom this name! And what thoughts are suggested by these titles! The Lord! This name belongs to him, both by nature and by office. By nature he is Lord of all— by office all power has been given to him in heaven and in earth. He is the Lord of the conscience, moving it as he will; the Lord of life, bestowing and withholding it; the Lord of glory, to whom all praise belongs; the Lord of all, men below as well as the redeemed and angelic hosts above. Jesus! This is a name altogether taken from his office. He is called Jesus because

For how numerous are the vain devices of he saves his people from their sins.' This is the men! One trusts in his innocence-never having design and purpose of his mission. For that end seen himself in the light of the divine law, nor he came, and this he is ever engaged in accomhaving felt the condemnation which it pronounces plishing-saving men from the guilt of sin by upon sin. Another rests in an idea of his compara- washing them in the fountain of his blood, detive purity-others seeming to be much more livering them from its power by renewing their depraved than himself—and not understanding hearts in righteousness, and upholding them in that all men stand as sinners upon the common the midst of duty and temptation by the grace ground of guiltiness in the sight of God. Not a of his Holy Spirit. Christ is also a term of office. few are satisfied with their purposes of future re- It implies his appointment to the work of formation, not doubting but opportunity shall be saving sinners, and includes his offices of prophet, given, and that when embraced all shall be well. priest, and king-as a prophet communicating A larger class are building their hope upon some instruction by his word and Spirit, as a priest revague expectation, that what is wanted in them conciling sinners to God by his atoning blood, will be supplied from the grace and righteousness and as a king ruling the hearts of his people and of Christ. Many are proud of their attainments, restraining the rage of their enemies. What a and entertain no doubt that they shall be ac- Saviour! How complete in person and in work! cepted and rewarded for them. Some are satis-Yet we are prone to distrust him. Even when fied with notions of the divine mercy that float the need of such a Saviour is in some measure in their imaginations, without being able to say felt, we are fearful to commit ourselves into his precisely what their hope is. And very many hand. And very many hand. His salvation is full and free, and these form no ideas upon the subject, are wholly en- are man's great stumbling-blocks. He would gaged with the things of time and sense, or, if a prefer to be indebted to the Saviour only in part. serious thought betimes should visit them, they He would like to pay some equivalent for redismiss it with the idea that they are no worse demption. But know, vain man, either Christ than others, and must fare as well as they in the must be a whole Saviour or none. chances of eternity. So it is, notwithstanding the either be complete in him or have no interest in fullness, and plainness, and urgency of the gospel. him at all. Ö! that man understood how in him Where men are at pains to form opinions, they 'God justifieth the ungodly.' This is the grand are almost as various as their countenances. Some- offence. thing, indeed, they have in common, for all sa-borne.

We must

Yet if we would be saved it must be In that testimony we must acquiesce,

'believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt | and temptation abound. And although these

be saved.'


And O! let us consider what interest is at stake, even the salvation of the soul. How precious is the soul! What is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his soul; or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?' The soul may be lost, and unless we come to Jesus so it shall. Or the soul may be saved, and if we come to Jesus so it shall. We may neglect his salvation, and 'dying, we shall die;' or we may embrace him by faith, and living, we shall live for ever. United with him there shall be no sentence found against us. No sin shall have dominion over us. We shall be preserved in life, sustained in death, acquitted in the judgment, and made blessed throughout eternity. Shall we then trifle with this salvation. O! let us examine ourselves whether we be in the faith. And never let us rest until we are enabled, in faith and hope, to say, Christ is 'all my salvation and all my desire.'

may not be public, nor acted on the great theatre of the world, yet in every heart is there a sense of its trouble or deliverance, it knows its own bitterness, or experiences its secret joy. Of this joy or security the great principle is trust in Jesus, and it may be profitable to trace it in some of its operations.

What peace does it give to the soul that has been harassed by a sense of sin! The exercised and awakened sinner only needs to know the Saviour, and his anxieties are at an end. Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.' The eye of faith sees the Saviour in his fullness, discovers God in him casting upon the sinner a benignant look, beholds him reconciled and reconciling sinners unto himself, sees the light of his countenance lifted up, and rejoices in him as a father and a friend. It is enough for him that Jesus has lived and died. Every demand of the law he sees met in him. And now he hears his tender invitation, and thankfully accepts it, 'Come unto me all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, 'Blessed are all they that put their trust in him,' find rest unto your souls; for my yoke is easy, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall


Psal. ii. 12. 'TRUST' is used in the Old Testament scriptures as equivalent to faith in the New Testament. It implies an unreserved confidence in its object. That object is here declared to be the Son, meaning Christ, and the confidence of the soul is to be reposed in him. In the exercise of this confidence all other dependencies are forsaken, the heart is wholly withdrawn from them, but it is conscious of resting on a sure foundation when it builds upon Christ, and it neither needs nor desires any other security.

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Such trust is declared to be blessed,' and that in trying times, which are here predicted. The heathen should rage, and the people imagine vain things. The rulers of the earth would be joined together to oppose the progress of the gospel; God would rise up in his indignation, proclaim the dominion of his Son, extend it upon every hand, inflict heavy judgments which would make the earth to tremble, and dash every opposer in pieces as a potter's vessel. But in the midst of these convulsions some would be safe, they would be preserved as the apple of the eye, even all they who put their trust in Jesus.

Times such as these have often been seen upon the earth, and may be expected again. But this word of consolation never has failed, and never can fail. At all times, indeed, scenes of trouble

and my burden is light.'

The same confidence in Christ sustains under the heavy pressure of this life's tribulations. From these the believer is not exempted. As the child of Adam, inheriting his depravity, and still, in a measure, retaining it, he must expect sorrow; for man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble. But especially as a child of God must he lay his account with afflictions. They are among the promises that are made to believers, for when they are needful for correction they shall not be withheld. But the principle of trust sustains him under them all. He can enter into the view of the believing Corinthians, and say, 'When we are judged we are chastened of the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.' He is satisfied with the assurance, that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to his purpose.' And he is comforted by the exhortation, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him; for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every

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son whom he receiveth.'

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